Brands are built not on their products and services alone but on trust. Trust that a brand will deliver what it claims, won’t compromise on quality, and will offer after-sales services as promised. However, institutional trust has been on a perennial decline in the last two decades.
In the past, brands were the source of trust and credibility, with their word taken at face value. Today’s consumers rely on what others have to say about a brand. Two things have contributed to this: the Internet, which offers unlimited information, and ecommerce, which has opened up buying options for consumers worldwide.
The rise in peer-to-peer information networks and marketplaces poses a new challenge for brands. The success of products rests on how the consumers perceive them. Buyers bank on reviews to trust a new product. In doing so, they get more clarity on the products they buy and hence more trust. Thus, modern marketers must look beyond traditional advertising.
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How Is Brand Trust Built?
To understand how brand trust is built over time, you must get into consumers’ shoes. For instance, a person planning to buy a printer may look at the reviews of your product on Google, Amazon, watch Youtube videos on its ease of use from past customers, and read about its pros and cons from people who have used it. In such an ecosystem, the product’s success rests on social proof.
How To Build Trust?
Trust Marketing isn’t a game of chance. It is a dedicated marketing process that is organic and scalable. As a marketer, you must focus on reputation management that lets you capture trust, share it with the audience, and build a strong reputation around your brand. Use your customers as brand ambassadors and build your reputation around their goodwill. Here are three vital elements of Trust Marketing.
1 – Capturing Trust
It is the first step to building trust among your potential customers. This step involves collecting as much feedback from your customers as possible in text, audio, and video. You must
- Encourage customers to write/share reviews
- Make it easy for customers to share reviews
Proactively asking for reviews is an integral part of online reputation management. When you do this, you will generate lots of reviews, and the majority of these are likely to be positive ones. An unhappy or disgruntled customer has greater motivation for writing a bad review than people who are happy with your products and services. They want to hurt your brand and warn others against trying your products. If you are proactive in capturing trust, you can overcome this challenge by outnumbering negative reviews.
2 – Distributing Trust
Once you have captured trust, distributing it is the next logical step. Customers go through different buying journeys. Some customers may find you on Facebook or Google Maps, while others may discover you through your landing page. As a marketer, you don’t control how people discover the brand but have complete control over what they read once they are on your website or social media handles.
Capturing a high volume of customer feedback will be of little use if you aren’t distributing it across all the customer touchpoints. Choose the best review you have received from your customers and share it on the landing page and social media handles. They make a strong impression of your brand on the prospective customer. Update the website’s testimonial section and social media handles with new reviews, as this reassures your loyal customers about the brand choice.
4 – Building The Narrative
It is the third and the most vital step in Trust Marketing. Though generating positive feedback is integral to online reputation management, you shouldn’t let this goldmine of trust remain idle. Set your eyes on the bigger picture, i.e., building a narrative around your brand and using this positive and highly influential user-generated content to power your brand for the future.
Put video testimonials on your product pages, the home page, social media handles, etc., as this helps you build a strong narrative around your brand. As we have mentioned earlier in the ‘trust economy,’ what your customers say about the brand holds more weight for the prospective customers than the claims you make about your brand with the ad campaign.
Build Trust Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand the importance of Trust Marketing, it is time to build a strategy that generates trust in your brand. It involves two simple steps and ensures your brand stands tall on the trust quotient.
Step 1: Generate Feedback
There is no shortcut to Trust Marketing, and you must be proactive in generating feedback from your clients. You must encourage them to share feedback across different platforms. Here are a few tips you can follow –
- Send review requests to your customers on every transaction via text message, email, Whatsapp, etc. Automate this process if possible.
- Share links where customers can leave reviews, such as Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.
- Gather audio and video reviews from customers who are extremely happy with your products and services. Your marketing team should reach out to them once they have written good reviews on other platforms
Step 2: Respond To Reviews
Requesting customers for reviews isn’t the end of the process. You must respond to those reviews to their feedback
- Acknowledge every review and feedback, irrespective of whether they are positive or negative
- Use your brand name and related keywords in your acknowledgment to improve online visibility
- Reply to all negative comments within 24 hours, acknowledge your mistake (if any), and offer help.
- Update unhappy customers on problem resolution on online forums to display your professionalism
These steps will help your brand build trust among your target audience and improve your local search rankings.
In today’s digitally driven economy, “word-of-mouth” marketing has moved online. People take online reviews and feedback as truth and form an opinion about your brand. Hence, your brand’s Trust Marketing strategy should center around generating and leveraging positive reviews. Negative reviews will come your way, but you can nullify their impact with overwhelmingly positive reviews. When you take reputation management seriously, you can keep your brand ahead of your competitors.
If you need help with Trust Marketing or Online Reputation Management, Cyrusson Inc. can be your growth partner. A full-service digital marketing agency, we have expertise in online reputation management. We help our clients build trust among potential customers and deal with online smear campaigns. Talk to us now to know more.